I’ve already written about the conflicted feeling that arose when I had to travel to Montreal, leaving the Mrs. and little one to fend for themselves. Last week, I was presented with a different situation: they were leaving me. Off to a cottage, and I couldn’t join them due to work obligations. Now, while it has already been established that I am no great fan of cottages, I would have loved to join them. But a two-night, three-day, at-home vacation (call it a Staycation, if you must)? As a bachelor (a Man-Staycation, if you must — but please don’t)? YES PLEASE!
One day was spent on my deck, drinking beers, barbecuing ribs and watching as screaming F-16s did manoeuvres over my head en route to Toronto’s CNE air show. It was delightful. (By the way, when is somebody going to make a movie about a surprise invasion that happens under the cover of an air show? Y’know, the Snowbirds and the old bi-plane pilots have to band together to defeat the Taliban air force, or whatever. Listen, I haven’t worked out all the details but I’m telling you, Airshow Invasion is a winner.)
I also had some movies piled up that I had been meaning to watch but couldn’t convince my wife to sit through. Hey honey, want to watch a sports documentary about the ’92 Dream Team? No? OK, how about another sports documentary, this one about the OJ Simpson bronco chase? Well, dear reader, guess who watched both of those documentaries back to back while eating ribs and lying on the couch?Same guy who fell asleep on that very same couch, covered in a thin film of barbecue sauce!
Did I do some housework? I did. I cleaned the bathroom, I tidied up, I did a couple of loads of laundry. Did I do these things at the last possible second, while my wife’s key was in the door? You betcha.
Yes, I got to loaf around. Yes, I was able to wake up and immediately go watch a college football game that started at 9 a.m. and then drift into a nap on that couch when that game got boring (I think you can sense a trend here). But by the end of the three days of bachelor freedom, I missed my wife and daughter. That football morning, when I was making coffee for myself, I instinctively put out two mugs before realizing it was just me. A couple of days of bachelorhood was good (oh, was it ever good), but by the end I had had enough and couldn’t wait to hold my daughter and kiss my wife.
Today’s lesson? A little break can be good for everyone. Vacation planning is, let’s be honest, an enormous pain in the wazoo. Flights, cars and hotels have to be booked — a lot is riding on your enjoyment. At home, you’ve got everything you already like at your fingertips, so I’d recommend that, when you can, everyone should take a little Man- or Lady-Staycation (please don’t call it that). Recharge your batteries, while reminding yourself of what you’re missing.
Paul Beer is a Toronto writer, actor and comedian. You can follow him on Twitter @pauldanielbeer.